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More U.S. Homes Are at Risk of Repeat Flooding

House in Houston, Texas, surrounded by flooding due to Hurricane Harvey. Credit: The number of U.S. homes that face repeated flooding has grown significantly in the past decade despite federal and state agencies spending billions of dollars to protect at-risk properties, a new government report shows.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office found that government programs that move homes out of floodplains or fortify them through elevation or flood-proofing are not keeping up with the growing number of properties that are flooded multiple times.

The number of repeatedly flooded properties rose from 150,000 in 2009 to 214,000 in 2018—a 43% increase, GAO found . The growth is expected to continue as climate change makes major storms more frequent and more intense. Advertisement Half of the nation’s repeatedly flooded properties are in Louisiana, Texas, Florida or New York.

The agency’s report has implications for the federal government’s struggling flood insurance program, which insures 5.1 million properties and is supposed to support itself by collecting enough money in premiums to pay for claims.

But the National Flood Insurance Program has been forced to borrow $37 billion from federal taxpayers since 2006 to cover the massive number of claims submitted after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and after […]

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